Pontifical Academy of Martyrs

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The Pontifical Academy of Martyrs (Pontificia Academia Cultorum Martyrum, originally Collegium Cultorum Martyrum) is one of the ten Pontifical Academies established by the Holy See. It serves to advance the cult of saints and martyrs and the study of related early Christian history, [1] including the catacombs. It operates with guidance and support from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Roman Curia.

Holy See Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholics around the world. As a sovereign entity, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, and exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy, of which the pope is sovereign. It is organized into polities of the Latin Church and the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.

Christian martyrs Person killed for their testimony of Jesus

A Christian martyr is a person who is killed because of their testimony of Jesus. In years of the early church, this often occurred through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. The word "martyr" comes from the Koine word μάρτυς, mártys, which means "witness" or "testimony".

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religious system of beliefs and practices based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament.



The Academy was established on 2 February 1879 by four distinguished scholars of sacred antiquity – Mariano Armellini, Adolfo Hytreck, Orazio Marucchi, and Enrico Stevenson – and the Papal Academy, in conjunction with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. [2]

Mariano Armellini was an Italian archaeologist and historian. Born in Rome, he was one of the founders of the Pontifical Academy of Martyrs.

Orazio Marucchi Italian archaeologist

Orazio Marucchi was an Italian archaeologist and author of the Manual of Christian Archaeology. He served as Professor of Christian Archaeology at the University of Rome and director of the Christian and Egyptian museums at the Vatican Museums. He was also a member of the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology and was a scrittore of the Vatican Library.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is the congregation of the Roman Curia that handles most affairs relating to liturgical practices of the Latin Church as distinct from the Eastern Catholic Churches and also some technical matters relating to the Sacraments. Its functions were originally exercised by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, set up in January 1588 by Pope Sixtus V.


The Academy is tasked with promoting the cult of the holy martyrs and increasing, through study, knowledge of the saints, including their example as "witnesses of the Faith".

It is also responsible for the monuments to these saints from the first centuries of Christianity, including the catacombs beneath Rome. The Academy organises and promotes celebrations of ancient Christian cemeteries, the catacombs, and other sacred places, as well as religious functions and archaeological conferences. To this end it works closely with the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology.

Catacombs cemetery

Catacombs are human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice. Any chamber used as a burial place is a catacomb, although the word is most commonly associated with the Roman Empire.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Pontifical Academy of Archaeology academy of sciences

The Pontifical Academy of Archaeology is an academic honorary society established in Rome by the Catholic Church for the advancement of Christian archaeological study. It is one of the ten such Pontifical Academies established by the Holy See.

The Academy holds at least two general meetings each year, close to the Papal Institute of Christian Archaeology and the Collegio Teutonico in The Vatican.

In parliamentary law, a mass meeting is a type of deliberative assembly, which in a publicized or selectively distributed notice known as the call of the meeting - has been announced:

Collegio Teutonico

The Collegio Teutonico, historically often referred to by its Latin name Collegium Germanicum, is one of the Pontifical Colleges of Rome. It was established in 1399 and maintained at the Vatican for the education of future ecclesiastics of the Catholic Church of German nationality. The German College is now divided into two separate colleges.

Vatican City Independent city-state within Rome, Italy

Vatican City, officially Vatican City State, is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See. With an area of 44 hectares, and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world by both area and population.

The Papal Academy "Cultorum Martyrum" supports also, during Lent, the unwinding of the ritual stand in honour of Carlo Respighi, Magister from 1931 until 1947.

Lent Christian observance

Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and denial of ego. This event is observed in the Anglican, Baptist, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholic Churches. Some Anabaptist and evangelical churches also observe the Lenten season.

Membership and leadership

The Academy consists of "Sodales" and "Associates" of both sexes. At the age of 80 a Sodales becomes an "Emeritus". Cardinal or Bishop Sodales are appointed "Defences".

The title of the Academy's administrator is "Magister", an office appointed (and renewed) by the Pope. The Magister, in accordance with the Academy's "Guiding Advice", can collaborate with other Pontifical Academies which have business related to a particular martyr's sanctuary. Its current "Magister" is Fabrizio Bisconti. [3]

See also

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